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Suffolk Celebrates Senior Affordable Housing Community

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For residents, community leaders, and CHP employees, May 15 was a day of celebration. A celebration of home and a celebration of community, all of which were embodied in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of recent renovations to the Bettie S. Davis Village Apartments in Suffolk, Virginia.  

The Section 8 community is comprised of 60 apartments and is rented to elderly and/or disabled residents earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income. It was named after Virginia’s first African American public health nurse who served the Suffolk area for nearly four decades, beginning in 1926.

Mary Ricks, a resident at Bettie S. Davis Apartments since 1989, praised the renovation work and said she thought the property’s namesake would be proud. Ricks knew Bettie Davis when she was alive and ministering to the community’s largely underserved residents. Suffolk City Councilman Curtis Milteer also remembered Davis and her commitment to helping others. “Bettie Davis worked to make the community a better, healthier place to live, and that’s what people are trying to do here today, too.”  

The property upgrades, which were performed by CHP’s in-house development, design, and construction teams, included new water lines, gutters, and downspouts; as well as all new windows, exterior doors, fiber-cement board siding, kitchen appliances and cabinetry, water heaters, HVAC systems, and carpeting. Funded in part with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds, the design and construction work were performed to meet EARTHCRAFT standards in order to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the facility. 

“It is important to recognize the all the individuals and organizations who helped make the improvements at Bettie S. Davis Apartments possible, because they have helped ensure that 60 individuals will continue to have a safe, comfortable, and affordable place to live,” said CHP Chief Operating Officer Orlando Artze. “Home matters to us all, and we all deserve a decent place to rest our heads at night.”

Speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Linda Johnson, City of Suffolk mayor; Diana Williams, community outreach coordinator for U.S. Representative Randy Forbes; Curtis Milteer, City of Suffolk council member; Graham Driver, director of new market tax credits and project development advisor with Virginia Community Development Corporation; Andre Pannel, pastor at Greater Sweet Beulah Holiness Church; Orlando Artze, chief operating officer at CHP; and Mary Ricks, resident at Bettie S. Davis Apartments.